Today I am happy to chat with one of TtT’s own writers Virginia Forste. Virginia, would you please share a recent photo and tell us a little about your family.
If by “recent” you mean “within the last year” then here is a recent photo. 😉 This was taken on our Disney World vacation in November. It was actually cold for once. We’re standing in front of our favorite restaurant located at the Fort Wilderness Resort. They have the most delicious breakfast buffet! I’d like to shake the hand of the genius who combined brisket, cheese and poached eggs! (It might sound odd but it’s so yummy!) This is the only vacation we take each year so we treat ourselves with a visit to this restaurant at least once.
That does sound interesting! I haven’t braved a Disney vacation with the fam yet, but we have started saving for it. Sounds like you’ll be able to give me some tips when that time comes around for us!
What truth did you hear recently that helped you that you could share with us today?
I taught MAD camp a few weeks back which is similar to VBS that emphasizes music, art and drama. I get the privilege of teaching drama to 3rd and 4th graders which is totally my niche. That age is very silly, sweet and some of them even understand my sarcasm. Drama is a great way to teach people about personal change. We start out as little kids, uninhibited and honest. Then we slowly allow culture tell us who we need to be instead of affecting culture by growing into whom God made us. Although it’s easier to teach children who are quiet and obedient, I’m actually looking for that attitude and the willingness to be a risk taker. It occurred to me that that’s what God wants from me – to take risks, too. This truth also dovetails into a Northpoint Church podcast episode from a series they’re doing called “Out of the Shallows.” My faith won’t grow if I just sit in church and listen to people talk. I need to act on what I’m learning. I can’t be a better actor if I read and study the principles of acting. I have to literally act in both situations!
I love it when God speaks to us through the life we are living. You gave your time and just volunteered at MAD camp and now you have this practical spiritual wisdom to apply to your life!
What is your hardest parenting struggle currently?
I’m happy to no longer be in my hardest season of parenting from last Spring but my struggle is staying the course. I am sure my friends are tired of hearing me talk about Kirk Martin and his Celebrate Calm program but it’s hard not to share when you feel like you’ve found something that works so well for your family. Then a pattern developed: I was in crisis, I found the program, I worked it and things were going well. Then the crisis period ended and without realizing it, I stopped working the program. Then I realized I was yelling more and the atmosphere in my home and my own soul were moving south again. I had to reorient myself and get back on the path. It’s probably like healthy eating: eating well for two weeks isn’t enough; to keep yourself healthy, you have to be consistent (I really dislike that word because it implies persistent hard work, sigh…) but it’s true.
I don’t mind hearing over and over again about something that is working well for you! And persistent hard work does sound so overwhelming, that’s true. But when you are working the program, and it has a positive impact on you and your family, then it’s totally worth the effort! Good job sticking to it!
What is going well?
I would say our weekly bedtime reading. We were involved in our library’s summer reading challenge. I love to read and I read to our kids most nights unless it’s very late. It’s exciting to see how much they want to read with me: I can see the appeal is both exclusive time with me and the books themselves. I enjoy explaining to them why I don’t like a certain book (i.e. boring or confusing plot) and why some books are fun to read (the rhymes or humor). I hope this love will prosper beyond required reading into something they enjoy in their free time as I do.
I too love reading with my kids! Now that mine are getting older we are able to read back and forth. I’ll read a little, they read a little. And the books are longer and so we just get to spend more time together! I hope they love it as much as I do!
What is your least favorite household chore (which one would you pay someone else to do for you)?
I have to pick one? Haha. I used to say dishes but putting away laundry is creeping up my “no thank you” list. It’s really because I’m a control freak and I want my five year old’s dresser drawers to be as orderly as mine. When I take time to fold clothes and I tell him to put them away and even though he does it without complaining, I cringe because I know all the meticulous piles I created (to make it easier for him) will be morphed into one giant wad of clothes shoved into a single drawer. Argh!
Oh, my children know there is nothing worse to mommy than having to refold clothes that were already folded! They avoid my folded laundry piles like raw broccoli!! And while I have taught them a few chores lately, I totally still put my precious laundry piles away myself! So good job in relinquishing some of that control!
Ok, let us have it… what is your most embarrassing mom fail?
I’m sure I have embarrassing ones but the only one that comes to mind makes me cringe more than blush. Many of my mom fails have involved the bodily injuries I have inflicted upon my own children. It’s just statistics: they’re with me most of their lives right now. If they’re going to get hurt, I’m probably going to be a witness or a direct cause, though always unintentional.
Seems like pretty sound reasoning! So what did you do? 😉
At the time my daughter was 2 ½ we were taking those mommy and me swim classes at the YMCA. One morning we were leaving the changing room and heading toward the pool. Unfortunately I didn’t leave enough room for the door to swing open before I started leading my daughter out and as the door began to close, the bottom metal rim of the door cut right across her foot. For good reason she started crying really loudly and there was a good amount of blood. I had to carry her into the pool area and see the lifeguard immediately for BandAids. I felt so awful! She now has a scar but not the cool story to accompany it.
Oh, poor thing! I think it’s a pretty good story actually! But hopefully one she won’t actually remember!
What are some family activities you do that you would like your kids to remember?
We like to ride bikes together. Before we moved to Ohio, my husband had a fantasy of his beautiful family riding together as lively instrumental music played in the background. After we moved we rented bikes and rode a little of the Loveland bike trail together as we each pulled a trailer with a kid inside. Although the parents were doing the actual work we had to stop every minute it seemed because “I need Goldfish” or “I’m hot” or “I’m thirsty” or “I just got a bug in my mouth!” It wasn’t quite the expectation. Haha. Now we finally have our own bikes and we’ll eventually take to the trail as one family. For now we ride around the neighborhood with fewer complaints.
It’s good to keep the expectations low for now, but I like that the dream of the family bike ride down the trail with inspirational instrumental music in the background isn’t lost forever! Let us know when that happens, ok?!
Thanks for sharing with us today Virginia!
Do you have a story to tell? Would you like to be featured in a future Moms in Progress post? Just click here and answer a few questions to share the details of your story. We will do the rest!